Get To Know: Casey Gripari - THAT GORILLA BRAND

Get To Know: Casey Gripari

Get to know .... our founder, Casey on travel, family and superheroes.
Get To Know: Leo Gripari Reading Get To Know: Casey Gripari 5 minutes Next Get To Know: Raoul Shah

Where were you born?

Sydney, Australia


Where did you grow up?

In London; my family moved there when i was almost 4 years old.


What kinds of things did you like to do when you weren’t in school?

I was quite a quiet child when I was young. I loved reading and can remember reading in bed with a torch then having to quickly turn it off when I heard my Mum coming. My family was all still in Australia, so I used to love spending my holidays back there with them. I was an only child till I was 10, almost 11 years old - so I was really happy when my siblings started arriving. I have three brothers and three sisters!


What did you do after you left school?

I took a gap year when I finished school. I worked for six months in a bar to save some money and then went travelling with my best friends for four months. We went to Cuba, Mexico, LA, Australia, Bali and Thailand. When I got back to London, I went back to working in the bar I had been working in before I went travelling, where I then met Leo….who knew this is where we would end up together! A few months later I started an art foundation course at Loughborough University and finished my degree in Marketing and Advertising in London.


You’ve travelled a lot. Did you feel an affinity for a particular place when you were younger?

Even though I was really young when I left, Australia always held a very special place in my heart and was truly where I considered my ‘home’ to be.


As wildlife conservation and environmental action become more urgent and important in our world, has your life at home changed at all?

We are all so much more aware of what we do at home now, from not wasting water to recycling plastics. In our kitchen we have a bin for regular waste and one for recycling plastic. The kids know which one to use, and every now and then, when the little one can’t remember, she comes and checks in to see which one she is supposed to be using. Simple things like that we are trying to teach our children.


What advice would you give your ten-year-old self today?

I think I would tell myself that I will eventually be a grown-up and one day I’ll get to do grown-up things, even though it seemed so far off at the time!


In 2008, there were only around 600 mountain gorillas left in the world; by 2018, their numbers had increased to just over 1000, which is a remarkable jump. They were moved off the Critically Endangered list up to Endangered. With this being one of the rare conservation success stories, how have you held on to optimism that these numbers can be increased further?

With all the amazing conservation work being done and the impact initiatives we continue to do to help the local people who live around the gorilla habitats in Uganda, I have no doubt that these success stories can, and will, continue. And as the younger generations become more educated and aware, and interested in conservation, the cycle of wastefulness and pollution will be broken, and we can, hopefully, only be optimistic about the future.


What book are you reading at the moment?

Just Between Us by Adele Parks. True summer reading!


Is there a documentary you have watched that has left you feeling hopeful?

I watched it a long time ago, but I loved One Giant Leap.


Who are your heroes in real life?

Living where we live in Athens, each year we have a serious and scary threat of large wildfires; there was a huge one a couple of years ago that caused enormous damage nearby. Leo and I have taught our kids that the real superheroes are the firefighters and others who risk everything to fight these fires and keep us all safe.


What is your idea of perfect happiness?

For me, happiness is very simple - to be with my kids, Leo, and my wider family whenever we can. There is nothing else that I need to be truly happy.


What do you value most in your friends?

I value their loyalty and their love for our kids. We don’t have hundreds of friends; we have quite a small social group really, but the friends we do have are amazing, and I love them. The fact that they all clearly love our kids and develop their own relationships with them is such a lovely thing to see.